Nate Wiens joined MNU as Cross Country and Track & Field Coach in 2014 to restart the track and field programs starting in the fall 2015. Wiens began the 2015-2016 season by recruiting in 55 new student-athletes. In three years since (2015-2018) MNU XC/Track and Field has seen had 61 individual conference champions, 122 indoor/outdoor national qualifying marks and three national XC team appearances and 6 individual XC appearances and 29 Track and Field All-Americans.
Additionally, the Pioneers have won 8 out of 12 conference championships from 2016-2018 (2016 Women’s XC, 2017 Men’s Indoor, 2017 Women’s Indoor, 2017 Men’s Outdoor, 2017 Women’s XC, 2018 Men’s Indoor, 2018 Women’s Indoor, 2018 Women’s Outdoor). During the 2013-2014 season, University of California, Riverside’s athletes achieved new heights at the NCAA Division I level on the track in the hurdles, jumps and multi events. Wiens coached eighteen top ten performances, seven school records, three conference champions, four first round NCAA qualifiers and one All-America honoree.
Highlighting the personal performances for the men was Ted Hooper with a school record leap of 25’10.25” (7.88m) in the long jump during the season and went on to be the Big West Champion and was awarded second team All-American honors. At the Big West Championships, Littleton placed second in the Pentathlon (5,045), and first place in the Long Jump (20’3.25”/6.18m) and first in the 100m Hurdles (13.51). All three performances were school records. Additional athletes that qualified for NCAA first round were Phoenisha Schumeier who set a new personal best in the long jump with an effort of 20’1.25” (6.13) and Michael Koger who ran at time of 51.37 in the 400m hurdles. Other noteworthy performances include Tayler Fleming (100m Hurdles/13.97, Tiffany Stone (LJ/18’7”/TJ-39’9.75”), Jacquelyn Dubois (TJ-39’11.25”) and Mike Harris (TJ-48’6.75”).
From 2009-2013 Iowa State sprinters and hurdlers saw a strong increase in performance. Overall, 15 performances ranked on the top three all-time lists with 9 new school records being set. Over 40 student-athletes achieved regional and national qualifying marks with 6 earning All-America status and 3 athletes competed at the Olympic Trials in 2012.
On the men’s side, Wiens coached Ian Warner who gained multiple Big 12 accolades. His personal bests included 10.13w/10.20 in the 100m and 21.11 in the 200m. Ian was also a regional qualifier on the men’s 4X100m, a NCAA second team All-American. In 2012, Ian took second place in the 100m at the Canadian Olympic Trials and was member of the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team. Nick Efkamp won the 400m at the Big 12 Indoor conference Championships and went on to be a second team indoor All-American posting a personal best of 46.25 in the 400m. Ryan Sander also was an all-conference performer in the 60m and 110m hurdles and ranked in the top 25 in the nation with a 7.83 in the indoor 60m hurdles.
On the women’s side, Wiens coached Kianna Elahi who was a first team All-American performer for the Cyclones in 2011 and 2012. Kianna ran a personal best time of 56.41 in the 400m hurdles, was a school record holder in the indoor 300m, 400m, 600yrd, indoor and outdoor 4X400m and DMR relays. Elahi won the Drake Relays in the 400m hurdles and qualified for the US Olympic Trials in 2012. Ese Okoro, a native of Great Britian, ran a personal best of 57.41 in the 400m hurdles, winning Drake relays in 2013, gaining second team All-American honors in 2012 and 2013 and competed in the United Kingdom Olympic Trials in 2012. She also broke the indoor 400m school record and was a part of the school record setting teams both indoor and outdoor in the 4X400m. Alongside Elahi and Okoro, Donnise Powell (59.07) and Krista Shoeman (59.88) helped Iowa State be the only University to send four athletes to the first round of nationals in the 400m hurdles while assisting in setting numerous 4X400m records indoor and outdoor. In 2013, Kendra White transferred from LSU and added depth to the sprints squad breaking the indoor 400m school record and posting personal bests of 24.42 in the 200m and 53.83 in the 400m while assisting an all-time outdoor personal best for the squad in the 4X400m of 3:36.22. Other athletes of note were Jenna Caffrey (60m hurdles/8.36, 100m hurdles/13.54) and Lashawn Wright (100m/11.65, 200m/23.68). The 4X100m relay qualified for nationals in 2010 and the 4X400m relay qualified for the nationals every year from 2010-2013.
Previously, Wiens was the sprints and hurdles coach at California-Riverside. During his two years at UCR, the school’s men’s and women’s 4×400 teams set school records with the women’s team winning the 4X400 at the Big West Championships. The men’s and women’s 4×100 teams also set the second-fastest times in school history. UCR earned its highest finishes in conference competition since moving up to NCAA Division I. The Highlanders broke a combined eight indoor and outdoor school-relay records while producing six individual school record holders in the sprints and hurdles. Wiens also served as the meet director for UCR’s cross country and open meets as well as their first inaugural Inland Empire Coaching Clinic.
Before UCR, Wiens was at Nebraska-Kearney as sprints, hurdles, relays, and multi-events coach. In his two seasons there, Wiens’ athletes earned 66 all-conference honors including 18 conference champions. Wiens’ athletes set 24 school records. Six RMAC Athletes of the Year and nine All-Americans competed under Wiens and in the 2004 and 2005 Division II NCAA power rankings, the Loper men’s and women’s teams placed in the top 15 seven times with three placing in the top four or higher. Wiens also served as the Loper Track and Field Summer Camp coordinator and taught the annual indoor track and field coaching clinic while teaching courses in the health and physical education department.
During the 2002 and 2003 seasons, Wiens coached at Missouri-Kansas City and served as the multi-events and throws coach as well as assisting with sprints and jumps. The Kangaroos had nine all-conference athletes in the multi-events and throws, two conference champions, one regional qualifier and broke four school records during Wiens’ two seasons there. He also completed his master’s degree in higher education administration with an emphasis in Sports Management while teaching courses in the HPER department.
Wiens is a 2000 graduate of Mid-America Nazarene College (now MNU) with a major in physical education and health with a minor in business. Nate earned all-conference honors in the pentathlon, high jump, triple jump, and javelin. He was a NAIA indoor national qualifier in the pentathlon and high jump and an outdoor national qualifier in the decathlon, high jump and javelin. Nate won the NCCAA national championship in the decathlon and gained All-American honors in the high jump, javelin, and triple jump in the NCCAA.
Nate Wiens resides in Olathe, KS with his wife Katy, his daughter Nya (9) and son’s Judah (7) and Zeke (2). They are active in foster care and strive to bring a family atmosphere to the program at MNU.
Level II USATF Certification, Sprints/Hurdles
Level II USATF Certification, Jumps
Level II USATF Certification, Multi-Events
USATF ITC (Instructor Training Course) Certified to direct/instruct/teach Level I USATF Schools
USWF (United States Weightlifting Federation) Certified Club Coach
Assistant Coach – Sprints/Hurdles
Since 2015 Coach Becker has acquired multiple accolades as an Assistant Track and Field Coach at MNU. Becker swept the Indoor and Outdoor Men’s Track and Field Assistant Coach of the Year awards in 2017 and was Men’s Indoor Assistant Coach of the year in 2018 as well.
Other Coaching Highlights include:
– At the 2018 Outdoor Heart Conference Championships the Men’s track team won Conference Titles 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 110 hurdles, 400 hurdles, and 4x400m relay.
– 2017 Heart of America Outdoor Conference Championships when MNU Men swept the top 3 podium spots running 14.3, 14.4, and 14.6. In the 400m Hurdles the MNU Men finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th at the Championships that year.
– In 2017 coached the Men’s 110m Hurdles NAIA National Champion Christopher Graham and NAIA National Runner Up Michal Riha in the same event to finish 1st and 2nd.
Over the past couple seasons Becker has coached multiple All-Americans in the sprints, hurdles, and relays. Jonathon also serves as Recruiting Coordinator for the Track and Field events and has been in that role since 2016.
Jonathon Becker joined MNU Track and Field Staff in the Fall of 2015 after one year coaching at Baker University. As the Hurdle and Strength and Conditioning coach at Baker, he coached 3 NAIA National qualifiers as well as 2 first-time qualifiers. Of those qualifiers, one garnered All-America status in the 60 meter hurdles.
Prior to Coaching at Baker University, Jonathon was a track athlete at Concordia University in Seward, Neb. There he was a 17-time All-Conference performer including Conference Champion in the 400m hurdles and the 4×400 meter relay. He was a 7-time NAIA National Qualifier and a 3 time NAIA All-America honoree in the 4×400 meter relay finishing 8th, 5th, and 3rd.
USA Track & Field Level 1 Certified Coach
USTFCCCA Technical Certification
Coach Kevin O’Grattan enters his first full season as the distance coach at MidAmerica Nazarene University. In a short amount of time Coach O’Grattan has made quite an impact on our program. Coach Nate Wiens adds, “Kevin has been an excellent addition to our staff. He comes to MNU with expert distance knowledge and the desire to intentionally mentor our student-athletes on and off the track. He has proven to be the right coach at the right time for our distance program.”
Since his arrival January 2018, Pioneer distance athletes have won seven individual conference titles and set a total of 3 school records. He has coached 10 NAIA National qualifiers this past winter and spring with 4 athletes going on to earn All-American honors. Most notably his athletes placed 4th, 5th, and 6th in the 2018 NAIA National Championships Marathon. He has also twice been voted Heart of America Conference Assistant Coach of the Year in as many seasons.
During the outdoor season, Coach O’Grattan was able to maximize the distance team’s efforts contributing to a Conference Championship for the women’s team and Conference Runner-Up for the men’s team. These efforts were led by Senior standout Bethany Brown who won conference titles in the 1500m and 10,000m. Bethany led a total of seven athletes who qualified for nationals in the Marathon, and Racewalk events. Of those seven athletes, five would go on to place 17th or better at nationals with three NAIA All-Americans in the Marathon.
The Pioneer distance men also had a strong showing through the indoor season under Coach O’Grattan. He guided junior Carlos Guzman to a conference champion performance in the 5km, and runner up for both the mile and 3km races. Additionally, the women’s distance team showed tremendous growth this indoor season and swept the Heart of America indoor conference 5k taking places 1 through 5 in the meet. Coach O’Grattan worked with Bethany Brown to coordinate taking conference titles in the 5km, 1km, mile, and 3km events earning her Heart of America Athletic Conference athlete of the meet. After the conference meet Bethany went on to earn All-American honors taking 4th in the 3km race at the NAIA Indoor National Championships.
Prior to coming on board with the Pioneers, Coach O’Grattan coached high school distance athletes for 11 years at Olathe West, North Kansas City, and Olympia (Orlando, FL). He has spent a considerable amount of time building a wealth of coach knowledge through the USATF, USTFCCCA, NFHS, and RRCA. He holds certifications from the USTFCCCA in Program Management, Track & Field technical certification, Strength & Conditioning, and Endurance Event Specialist. He is one of the first coaches to near completions in USTFCCCA’s Masters Endorsement in Cross Country. Coach O’Grattan also has a Master of Arts degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University Irvine. He is currently a USATF Level 1 coach and member of the USATF Coaches’ Registry. Coach O’Grattan is a lifelong learner and loves to share what he has learned. He has published two articles with USTFCCCA’s technical publication Techniques Magazine.
When he is not coaching, Coach O’Grattan can be found traveling the world, running ultramarathons, mountaineering, and generally seeking new adventures.
Volunteer Assistant Coach
Kendra Becker has been serving as a volunteer coach for the last 2 years at MNU. She brings several years of track experience to MNU. Kendra possesses her Doctorate of Physical Therapy and works nearby at CORE Strategies as a full time Physical Therapist during the day. Her passion for movement and serving others started in college and grew along with her profession career as a PT. Kendra is married to Jonathon Becker, the Associate Head Coach for Track and Field at MNU.
Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Nate Wiens had this to say, “Kendra has been a huge asset to our Cross Country and Track and Field team since she began helping out. Her passion for XC/Track, movement, and medicine is invaluable to our teams. It is a huge blessing to be able to have her help teach and coach our athletes and to learn from her as a professional.”